Summary: Though things in this life are changeable - our great God never changes - a sermon examining the immutability of God
10 Years Later: Some Things Never Change
September 25, 2011
In the days surrounding two weeks ago today, September 11, we were bombarded with several days of remembering what happened 10 years ago on that date. You couldn’t turn on a TV set, open a newspaper, turn on the radio, without seeing, reading, or hearing something related to the events of that awful day.
It’s interesting to note that, on the 10th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, in 1951, you couldn’t even find a mention of it in the New York Times. The next day, there was a one paragraph story. It was a small story, not a multi-page special section, like the Tulsa World featured on September 11 this year, or a days-long series of programs on TV and radio.
I’m not implying there’s necessarily anything wrong with these things. But, in the last 60 years, we as a culture have become significantly more introspective about such things. We’ve become more parochial, too – that is, we’re more concerned than ever with how such national and international events affect us as individuals. These retrospective looks at 9/11 often included the recalling of individuals’ experiences on that date, whether they were directly or even indirectly involved, or not at all involved other than as observers, like all of us here this morning.
But there was one common theme, which I heard again and again in the days surrounding the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. This thought came home to me as I was exercising on the elliptical machine on the Thursday preceding the anniversary. When I do my elliptical workouts, I have an mp3 player, usually listening to music, sometimes listening to podcasts or sermons. But most days, I also glance at the TV screens, which typically have sports or news on. Usually, the sound is turned down, so there’s closed-captioning and you can read what the people on the program are saying.
On one particular program, several women were sitting around a coffee table remembering where they were on 9/11/2001, and how it impacted their thinking and their lives. The most common statement they made about the events of that day, which I heard in so many places that long weekend, was this:
Everything changed. Everything changed.
And as I’m sort of watching this program and reading the closed-captioning, while also listening to the music on my mp3 player, these song lyrics come on my music player:
How many deaths did I die before I was awakened to new life again?
How many half-truths did I bear witness to, ‘til the proof was disproved in the end?
How long? How far?
What was meant to illuminate shadowed me still, and all you ever wanted…
Only me, on my knees, singing holy, holy
And somehow all that matters now is you are holy, holy.
Nichole Nordeman, Holy
So, here’s the world, by way of this TV show, telling me everything has changed, but this song is telling me God is holy. And at that moment, I think - you know what - certainly some things changed, but some things never change. God was holy then – He’s holy today. God doesn’t change. His purposes don’t change.
Yes, we have tighter security at airports. Yes, we’ve waged war because of these attacks. Certainly, for those directly and even indirectly involved, those who lost loved ones, those whose lives have been impacted by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many things have changed as a direct or indirect result of what happened that day.
But some things never change. God never changes. At the beginning of preparing for this message, I started with a list of things that haven’t changed since 9/11 – I actually came up with a list of about 14, and began to explore these things. But this morning, I’m actually going to examine just two of these things, and then take a look at the underlying foundation of these things – the reality presented in His Word, that God never changes.
One thing that isn’t any different today than it was before 9/11: God loves Muslims.
Yes, radical Muslims attacked America and killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens in one day. And yes, I believe God hates Islam, because it’s a false religion. But Muslims - God loves each and every one of them.
1 Tim 1:15 (ESV) The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…
Acts 10:43 (NASB77) 43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
Ezekiel 18:23 (NASB) 23 "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?